The women’s soccer program continued to add to its season point total last week with a win on Tuesday at Eastern Connecticut State University and a tie on Saturday against Bates. Four different Cardinals contributed goals in Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over the Warriors, showing that this year’s squad has the offensive prowess it needs to make a legitimate run at a NESCAC title and NCAA Tournament contention.
Victoria Matthews ’17 wasted little time as she tallied her third goal of the year in the 13th minute to give Wesleyan the 1-0 lead. The ever-creative Madeline Keane ’16 lofted a perfect ball over the back line to a streaking Matthews, who took a touch and fired it past the advancing Warrior keeper. Isabel Clements ’17 added to the lead a short time later in the 27th minute, with an impressive individual effort. Controlling the ball on the left side of the box, Clements beat multiple Warriors defenders before placing a beautiful shot just inside the near post to put the Red and Black up 2-0. Eastern Connecticut cut the lead down to one goal just into the second half, in the 52nd minute, when fullback Maggie Bodington converted a free kick from just outside the box.
Undeterred, Wesleyan answered back with their own set piece in the 69th minute, and brought the lead back to two. Sarah Sylla ’17 played a beautiful corner kick directly on the head of Lauren Goetzmen ’19, who powered the ball into the back of the net for her first career goal. Not five minutes later, in the 73rd minute, leading goalscorer Liz Young ’19 capitalized on an Eastern Connecticut mistake to give the Birds the 4-1 edge. Young managed to step through on a misplayed ball by the Eastern Connecticut defense, creating a clean chance at the Warriors’ goal, which she converted for her fourth of the season.
Though Megan Hanan ’18 let up a goal in the 76th minute, the lead proved to be too much for the home team. Olivia Gorman ’19 played the first 62 minutes of the match in goal for the Cardinals, also letting up one goal.
The Cards were at it again on Saturday, this time at home, on Jackson Field, against NESCAC opponent Bates. After going down 1-0 fifteen minutes into the contest, Wesleyan managed to come back and eventually settled for the 1-1 tie. Offensive juggernaut Liz Young had a chance to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead early on a point blank header—however, the Bates keeper managed to recover and made a stunning save to keep the Cards off the scoreboard. She finished the game with 11 saves.
The Bobcats took the lead at 14:22 when they capitalized on a long cross from the left-hand corner. Wesleyan managed to respond within the half, in the 42nd minute, when Sarah Sylla ’17 punched a chip into the lower right corner of the goal after a deflected header by Goetzman.
The squads played a scoreless second half, highlighted by both goalkeepers, who each made game-saving plays. Keane was denied a free-kick goal by the Bates keeper, who bobbled the initial save, but recovered the rebound. Wesleyan keeper Hanan then made a sprawling save in the final two minutes to send the teams into overtime.
The Cards dominated both overtime periods, with three separate chances by Matthews, each kept out by the Bobcats’ keeper. After two overtime periods, the matchup ended in a 1-1 tie. The Cardinals outplayed the Bobcats in terms of shots on goal, with 12 to Bates’ 9, but the phenomenal play of the Bates keeper sent her squad back to Lewiston with a point.
Wesleyan has a week off for recovery and training before heading to Clinton, NY next Saturday where it will continue its NESCAC campaign against Hamilton. The Continentals sit near the bottom of the NESCAC table at 0-3-2 in conference, while the Cardinals’ 1-1-1 in-conference record places them squarely in mid-table. The Birds look to avenge last year’s 2-1 defeat on Jackson Field in an 11 a.m. matchup which will be available for viewing via webcast.